Category Archives: Voices

So Now You’re A Senior

Sep 1, 2014 | Author: Cody Plasterer

So, this is my senior year and I am freaking out. If you are a senior and you are freaking out too, well, listen up.

We should be EXCITED! Right?

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We have this whole year to apply for jobs and hopefully find a way to start paying those student loans and find a place to live that isn’t our parent’s house.

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Just make sure that you graduate, we don’t want that Senioritis to take control!

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This is also the time where we get to look back at all these great years we have spent here at UC. Lets be nostalgic on all of those good….. and bad times. Just make sure to make this year the best it can be, and make those final memories with your friends that will still be here next fall!

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(My friend Stacy and I taking pictures on laptops at the Apple Store)

Here we go, Class of 2015. Lets be the best class to graduate UC, ever.

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ThinkFast!

Sep 1, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

The fall semester at UC is in full swing! Classes began last Tuesday, but prior to that, the campus was abuzz with the Utica College Programming Board’s (also known as UCPB) annual Welcome Week. Each day, the UCPB held an event that was completely free for UC students and allowed first years and returning students alike to get out of their residence halls and get to know one another. The week kicked off on Sunday with a movie projected on a giant screen out under the stars in the residential quad. Other events included Bookstore Bingo, a Glow Paint Dance Party, and- my personal favorite- ThinkFast.

ThinkFast is a game show style event that was back this year by popular demand. Students formed small teams- some chose to play solo, while I opted for a group of six with my friends- and received pagers. Trivia questions were shown on a screen, and teams used the pagers to buzz in their answers and earn points. After many rounds of video, music, and pop culture questions,  the top two teams were selected, along with two “wild card” teams, to compete in a more competitive round of trivia. The winning team received $200 cash and eternal fame and glory.

My friends and I were excited when we showed up for ThinkFast, as the promise of a $200 cash prize is enough to make any college student drool. The excitement turned into sweaty palms and nervous jitters as we began to increase our scores throughout the trivia rounds; the pressure was on, and we had the eye of the tiger. At the last minute, we scored high enough to be in the competitive final round, so among our celebrations, we quickly elected our brilliant and very cultured friend Laura to be our representative. Laura rose to the occasion, and baffled everyone with her vast array of knowledge on everything from the first animal to be in space (a dog) to the real name of Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean). Meanwhile, our group cheered Laura on with more enthusiasm than the pageant moms on Toddlers and Tiaras. By the end of a very intense game, Laura won our team the honor of first place and the $200 cash prize (which, divided among six girls, adds up to $33.33 each). The crowd went wild, and it was clear to everyone exactly how Laura earned her 4.0 last semester. ThinkFast was a celebration of all Utica College has to offer: camaraderie, scholastic wordplay, friendly competition, and lots of laughter.

Though Welcome Week is now over, I am certain that everyone will forever remember our wise and fearless leader, Laura, and her group of extremely loud and perhaps overly enthusiastic teammates. Welcome Week always gets students excited to start out the semester, and this year was no different. After ThinkFast, the Strebel Student Center was buzzing with laughter and conversation among newfound friends. As a senior this year, the end of Welcome Week was a little bittersweet, but seeing all of the underclassmen making friends and having fun made the whole experience better. And besides, there is no other way I would rather have ended it than with a butt-kicking win at ThinkFast with my friends, and $33.33 in my pocket.

Our winning team, left to right: Me (Elaine), Mary, Keezy, Laura, MaryEllen, and Cassie

Our winning team, left to right: Me (Elaine), Mary, Keezy, Laura, MaryEllen, and Cassie

Welcome Home Class of 2018!

Aug 31, 2014 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

This previous July I had the opportunity to be an Orientation Mentor for the first year students’ orientation! Every orientation there is a play called Transitions, which I had the opportunity to be involved in both my years working orientation. Transitions is one of the highest rated parts of orientation, which is an amazing feeling to be apart of. The show really gives the first year students an understanding of what they might experience during college, the good and the bad.

Orientation is also remembered for the crazy amount of icebreakers we do! Us mentors really love interacting and making the first year students feel comfortable with each other and the campus!

“WE ARE ORIENTATION MENTORS!” is probably our favorite thing to yell, with a little dance, twist, and kick added of course!

The memories that are created during orientation are like no other! In some instances, this is the first time that the first year students are meeting their friends, roommates, classmates, etc. It’s really a wonderful feeling knowing that I am apart of the students’ first impression of Utica College.

Also being a Resident Assistant here at UC, I continue to see the new students’ excitement and nervousness as they experience their first semester of college. It brings me back to my first year’s excitement and nervousness of not knowing anyone and taking on a different level in the classroom. These new feelings are what gave me the drive to get involved on campus. Involvement within organizations and my several jobs on campus really makes Utica College feel like a home.

My suggestion to all of the first year students is don’t be afraid to get involved or put yourself out there. Without putting myself out there, I would not be where I am today. I have made so many connections that have led me to meet new people and helped with my academic performance.

Just remember, you don’t ever have to feel like you’re in this alone. This is a small school. We are all a family. This is going to be a great year and beginning to your Utica College journey!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from this summer’s orientation:

MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord and I with one of the first year students!

MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord and I with one of the first year students!

Elaine Paravati, Orientation Coordinator, and I showing our love for Trax!

Elaine Paravati, Orientation Coordinator, and I showing our love for Trax!

 

 First year students smile and wave for the camera!


First year students smile and wave for the camera!

Alexander Hodkinson (aka Director of Front Lawn Entertainment) and some of the mentors with Alane Varga, Dean of Students, photobombing!

Alexander Hodkinson (aka Director of Front Lawn Entertainment) and some of the mentors with Alane Varga, Dean of Students, photobombing!

Us mentors always know how to have a fun time!

Us mentors always know how to have a fun time!

UC’s Welcome Week: The Great NYS Fair

Aug 30, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Welcome back to UC! One of my favorite weeks of the semester is the very first one. People are just getting back into the swing of things, professors give very little amounts of work, and you get to see your friends and classmates after a long break. I also enjoy the whole slew of events that the Utica College Programing Board (UCPB) puts on as a part of their “Welcome Week.” Saturday being the last day, had one of the coolest events, a bus which took students out to the New York State Fair.

(Tickets were given out to the first 50 people at every event during welcome week. A bus took students on the 30th, but students were welcome to go whenever they wanted. My friends and I didn’t take the bus just because we volunteered in the morning to help direct traffic in a fair parking lot.)

I love the Fair. It is one of the coolest attractions around. Plus, it is only once a year! It is well worth the hour long drive from Utica to Syracuse. There is literally hours upon hours of entertainment.

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(A sand sculpture displayed at the fair, just one of the many works of art on display. There is even an art exhibition with paintings, pictures, drawings, and sculptures done by artists from around the state.)

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(The butter sculpture is one of my favorite pieces at the fair. It changes every year. …but it is always made of butter!)

There are numerous food stands, and vendors selling anything you can image. From funnel cake, to sushi, to vacuums, to exercise equipment, the fair literally has it all.

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(We stood in a huge line to buy a ticket to get some of the best chocolate milk around, and all for only 25 cents!)

Besides food and merchandise there are also competitions. You can see livestock being judged, and plant competitions. All of the entrants, and entries are on display for patrons of the fair to awe over. In addition to observing things quietly, there are also numerous rides and attractions for fair goers who have a little more nerve than I do.

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(My friends and I stuck with taking pictures, and walking around. Rides aren’t really our thing.)

So, if you missed the fair this year I strongly urge you to attend next year! It is something every new yorker (or college attender in new york) should experience at least once!

 

 

A FRESH START

Aug 28, 2014 | Author: LaShanna Saunders

 

A FRESH START ; ARE YOU READY?

As I enter my sophomore year of college I find myself feeling nervous for what the new year has to bring. As I have grown over the summer and even over the past year I myself have changed so much about myself. As I begin sophomore year I face the reality that my old best friends will now become  my new associate’s, and my associate’s may just become my new best friend’s  and I myself will do things that surprises me every once in a while.   However, the most important part is I am one step closer to graduation, adult hood, and reaching my goals. Every year life presents us with new opportunities and a fresh start to improve who we are and get rid of the things that may have hinder us in the past.The first week of my sophomore year is done and my expectations for this year are set high. I do not have the answers to all of my questions and I will not complete every task I set out because life is an uncontrollable thing but wishful thinking, persistence, determination, confidence, laughter and self-motivation will build my character and help me to survive whatever is ahead of me good or bad.

 

Love always,

Lashanna S.

Senior Year Bucket List

Aug 28, 2014 | Author: Karita Rawlins
buck·et list

noun: bucket list; plural noun: bucket lists
a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish before dying.
I am not dying.

I am, however, coming close to the end of something… my college career. As I prepare to close this chapter of my life, I realize there are some things I have never done, as well as some I have, that I need to experience before I leave college. Thus I have decided to create a Senior Year Bucket List.

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My friends and fellow bloggers, Laura and MaryEllen, helped to come up with the list.

Each time I accomplish something on the list I will cross it off this post as well as share my experience in a new post!

  1. Become a blogger
  2. Land an internship
  3. Go to Senior Ball
  4. Road trip with friends
  5. See my first concert
  6. Go to a Toga Party
  7. Dress up for Halloween and go trick-or-treating
  8. Take a class outside of my major
  9. Join a new organization on campus, specially one I would usually never consider
  10. Watch SlapShot
  11. Audition for a role in the school play
  12. Sing the national anthem at a varsity game
  13. Become a vegetarian for a week
  14. Have lunch with my favorite professor
  15. Hike a mountain
  16. Run a 5K marathon
  17. Be an ally
  18. Take an upper level art course
  19. Donate Blood
  20. Go on a real date
  21. Study Abroad
  22. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  23. Learn a new language
  24. Join an intramural sports team
  25. Take a tour of the Saranac Brewery
  26. Graduate

My list is in no particular order and I am giving myself one school year to complete it. The first thing off my list is Become a blogger. I’ve always wanted to bog/vlog but never really knew what about until one day while I was reading through the Daysheet I spotted an ad for UC bloggers wanted. I contacted Ryan Mortensen in the Office of Advancement and then within a week or so I was a UC Blogger.  I even got my picture on the website (ironically that has always been a life goal of mine, I am also now on the Homecoming brochure!)

I hope my list inspires you to start your own and hopefully not wait until your senior year to have all these great experiences! Feel free to comment things that are on your own bucket list or ones you suggested I should add to mine.

Freshmen Fifteen: 15 Facts to Know & Learn During Your First Year!

Aug 27, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Seeing all of the new people on campus today really brought me back to 2011 when was in their shoes. I remember being so concerned & worried over the littlest things, only to find out later, they didn’t matter.

Here’s some facts & advice to all of the freshmen out there:

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1) Know that this is NOT High School: 

I remember being so nervous about (literally) EVERYTHING during my first week on campus. Granted, I’m a commuter, so I didn’t have half of the worries some others did, but still.

I had to keep reminding myself that college was NOT like high school. People really could have cared less about what I wore or what my book bag looked like. They were not as judgmental as in high school.

2) Maturity is key:

I seriously cannot stress this enough. You’re in college now. Act like it. The main difference between high school & college is that college is a voluntary experience. No one is forcing you to go. You’re there because you want to be. So, it’s time to lace up those maturity pants, ladies & gents!

3) Don’t abuse your freedom:

With college, comes a lot of freedom. You have the power over what classes you want to take, the time you want them or if you even want to go to class that day. The point: go to class. It is so unbelievably tempting not to, but you’re only hurting yourself.

4) Take complete advantage of Amazon:

Here’s one thing that I wish I knew back then! Unless you like spending oodles of dollars on textbooks & pouring your money down the drain, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT buy from the bookstore. Sure, there are some rare occasions when the bookstore is actually cheaper than Amazon, but trust me when I say rare. Do yourself a favor: AMAZON. 

5) Plan. Plan. Plan.

College has definitely turned me into quite the planner. It’s so important to grab those skills. As soon as I see the syllabus, I try to see what assignments I can get done in advance, so I’m not bombarded later. Plus, it saves me from those dreaded all nighters. (PS: I have yet to do one!)

6) Learn organization!

My first semester of freshmen year, I was probably the most unorganized person on earth. Papers everywhere. From notebooks, to just being thrown in my bag. I was still in that adjustment period obviously! Don’t be like that. Organize your materials. Life will be much easier.

7) Be yourself:

Nothing is better than going through life than simply being you. Not putting on a show or a fake appearance…nobody appreciates that. At all. College is the time to expand your mind, expand yourself & to get out of your comfort zone, NOT to worry about fitting in with the rest of the crowd.

8) Keep an open mind:

You’re going to meet so many new & exciting people in your first year. People from all over the country, even people from all over the world. Keep an open mind & good perspective. You never know what you can learn from someone.

9) Utilize Pinterest:

Oddly enough, if you’re looking for great study tips, or even great study apps to download, hit up Pinterest! Seriously, you can find out a plethora of information on that site simply by typing what you need in the search bar.

10) The Library will become your friend:

This applies to every single student, commuters included. You’ll probably spend more time in the library than you will in class itself! Between research papers, study groups, etc, it’s going to quickly become a familiar place.

11) Utilize your professors:

Your professors are there to help & guide you. If you need help, don’t be afraid to go to them. Go to the office hours, meet with them after class, e-mail them. Don’t just go through the motions, especially if you’re struggling in a course.

12) Do your research:

No, not just the assignments your professors give you. You just picked a major, you’re starting in on a whole new journey, make sure it’s the one you want to take. Research what the major entails. Research the courses & read what they’re all about. Research the job market & future opportunities. You may be surprised by what you find.

13) Make smart mistakes.

Mistakes are inevitable in this thing we call life. The thing is, don’t be stupid about them. Don’t do things that you’ll regret because you have this new found freedom. Have fun, but really, don’t be stupid.

14) Don’t give in to pressure:

College is all about opening yourself up & enjoying life, but never compromise yourself. If you go to a party & don’t want to drink, don’t do it. Plain & simple. If people can’t accept that, so be it. That’s their problem, not yours.

15) Get involved:

The only way to experience everything that college has to offer is by getting involved in sports or organizations. Joining Circle K was a great decision I made!

Senior Year: The Beginning of a New Chapter.

Aug 26, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

When I closed the chapter of Junior year, I never expected all of the events that were about to take place over the summer.

This summer was filled with tons of ups and downs. The ups? I was fortunate enough to celebrate my parents’ 25th Wedding Anniversary (so inspiring), as well as my 21st birthday (yay!) 

However…..

2 weeks ago, I lost one of the most important men in my life: my grandfather. He and I had a special bond that I know will never be broken. And, I consider myself extremely blessed to have had him in my life for the past 21 years. So, I can say that my first post this semester, is dedicated to him!

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My grandfather has always inspired me, and now that he’s my new angel, he is even more of an inspiration. I’ve been trying to find the positives during this time, & I think (so far) he’s giving me the strength to do so.

My grandpa always had a zest for life, and he always looked at each day as a new adventure. It didn’t matter what it held, or what he was doing, everything was always an experience to him. He was up for trying new things & stepping out of the box.

I’ve decided to take on his attitude. I’ve decided to approach every new experience just as he would, with excitement and wonder. This, includes the new semester.

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I still find it so surreal that I’ll be a senior in college. It makes me wonder where on earth did all of the time go? I remember my very first day at UC like it was yesterday! I remember how nervous I was, and to be honest, I still get the “first day of school” jitters.

But, this time, I’m going to change my thoughts. This semester presents a whole new realm of changes for me. I’m going to be participating in things that I never imagined I would be.

The way I look at it – I can be nervous, scared, anxious & negative, OR I can live by my grandpa’s example & be excited, open, confident, & welcoming to these things.

Either way, I have a choice. Really, that applies to each & every one of us. We have a choice as to how we handle new tasks & situations. To me, senior year, marks the beginning of a new chapter in my book of life. I don’t know where this semester is going to take me, but I’m confident that there will be many challenges, changes & surprises along the way.

Top 10 Best Ways to Procrastinate

Jul 28, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

Procrastination-Cycle

We procrastinators share a special bond; we get each other. Nobody else understands why we put off assignments and tasks until the last second and voluntarily subject ourselves to working under pressure, but that’s okay. No one needs to get it but us.

One of the most annoying problems procrastinators face is when they run out of ways to procrastinate. How are you supposed to justify not doing your work if you’ve got nothing else to do? That simply won’t fly. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of my favorite ways to procrastinate so you never have to run out of things to do when you should be doing other things.

1. Buzzfeed

This is hands-down the number one reason I procrastinate when on my computer. Buzzfeed is an abyss of procrastination potential, especially because of its infinite feed format. You keep scrolling, but it never really ends.

The site features posts compiled by BF staff and contributing site readers, and there is no limit to the topic of each post. Most of them are “listicles,” meaning that they are articles in the format of the list. Almost all the posts are hilarious, but they do serious, in-depth news articles addressing crucial current events as well.

The best thing about BF is that there is something for everyone. Whether you like food, Harry Potter, sports, cats, Chipotle, make-up, feminism, or whatever, you’ll find posts about it on BF.

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Image from Theivyleaguecoach.com

2. Pinterest

Contrary to popular believe, Pinterest is not just for the ladies. Like Buzzfeed, there is something for everyone on Pinterest. It covers food, tattoos, nail art, make-up, animals, cars, celebrities – you name it.

Some people don’t understand how it works until they actually start using it. Think of it as a collection of online bulletin boards. You find pictures of things you like on the web and then pin them to the appropriate board. For example, say you love cooking and you found this great recipe on a food blog with a drool-worthy photo. You can pin that delicious picture to your “Recipes to Try” board.

The boards are customizable, and you can make any you like. If you’re planning a wedding, make a “Wedding Inspiration” board. If you’re into fitness, make a “Fitness” board.

Pinterest is great for procrastinating because it never ends. Just keep looking through all the stuff you like and pinning away.

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3. Baking/Cooking

This is a great way to procrastinate because it is actually productive. Plus, you can make it a two-for-one procrastinating session if you look on Pinterest for recipes.

If you’re procrastinating, it’s probably because you’re bored with what you’re supposed to be doing. And if you’re bored, you’re probably hungry. It just makes sense that you get in the kitchen and hone your cooking skills. It’s a legitimately useful ability to have!

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4. Online Shopping

Regular shopping works too, but online shopping can be done in the comfort of your pajamas, and there’s less chance you’ll order something online. With the internet, you have every one of your favorite stores at your fingertips. The possibilities are endless.

Go look for those new sneakers you need for the gym, or find a dress for your UC graduation ceremony. If you really want to torture yourself, you can look at adoptable pets in your area. Again, that is actually a productive way to procrastinate because animals need homes!

5. Cleaning

The only time I clean is when I don’t want to be doing something else. Even if you don’t live your life like a tornado like I do, there are literally always things that need cleaning. I bet you the top of your ceiling fan needs a dusting, and vacuuming is always necessary. Do some laundry, organize your closet, or clean your oven.

6. Movie Marathon

Pick out your favorite movies, make some snacks, and procrastinate the day away. This one never gets old because there are always new movies to watch. The best thing is binge-watching a franchise like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

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Image from Harbortheatre.net

7. De-Clutter

It’s time to purge the stuff you no longer need. Again, this is  very useful way to procrastinate. I guarantee you’ve got stuff laying around that you’ll never use again. Grab two garbage bags, one marked “To Donate” and one marked “To Trash.” Fill them up and de-clutter your space. It is an especially good idea to get in your closet and do this.

8. Thought Catalog

This is similar to Buzzfeed in that it has articles covering all kinds of topics, and they are all reader-submitted. However, it is in a blog format as opposed to a feed. Honestly, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine because some of the stuff submitted is quality and thought-provoking, but some of it is controversial garbage. It is a ball to read some of the more ridiculous articles, and it’s even more fun to troll through the comment section.

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9. Work Out

If you hate working out, this won’t appeal to you, but it is one of my favorite ways to procrastinate. I honestly don’t even consider it procrastinating sometimes though because it de-stresses me while doing something good for my body, so it really is a necessary act.

Best of all, working out is customizable. You get to pick what you want to do, and for how long. Run for 30 minutes or dance for an hour; it doesn’t matter. You’ll sleep better too, which will help you in the long run when you finally have to finish that assignment that’s due tomorrow.

10. Nap

This has to be the best one. There is nothing like napping when you should be doing a million other things. Naps are fun, refreshing, and anyone can take them!

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Greece and Romania

Jun 9, 2014 | Author: Ryan Kelly

What a blast we have been having! I’m currently sitting at a resturant in Bucharest, Romania! We were all sad to leave our friends in Albania. The relationships and friendships we have developed over the 2 weeks were just phenomenal! We were truly treated as family at the Livia Hotel and I can’t wait to go back and visit all of our friends there! From Albania we took a hydrofoil boat to Corfu. I was a little bit nervous about it, but it ended up being a lot of fun! Corfu was beautiful! We spent about two days there and I wish we could have stayed longer. Corfu was a transition time between classes in Albania and Romania. We got to spend time exploring the towns and shops. We found a beautiful beach and spent quite a bit of time there! Our hotel was located between two beautiful citadels. image We then all boarded on our flights to Romania. I think I figured out that I don’t really enjoy flying. I just much prefer my feet firm on the ground. The city of Bucharest is beautiful! It is described as the Paris of the east. We are spending our class time at the Rainer Insitute which has a skull collect of almost 6,800 skulls! One of the biggest collections in Europe and the world! It was fascinating walking into the bone room!  The insitute is about a 20-30 minute walk from our hotel. Our first walk over there a stray dog we named Sporky found us and escorted us all the way to the insitute! She chased after cars and bikers that came near us. She even almost got in a scuffle with another dog that wandered to close. The amazing part that was when we left the insitute a few hours later, she was sitting outside and walked us the entire 30minutes back to the hotel! image We are getting to the part of the course where we are getting to do some research and analyze the bones! Sorry to make you wait so long Aunt Sylvia  for this post:)image